High Rock Complex, (Bitner, Fox Hog, High Rock, Nut Mountain, Wall Canyon) CA/NV

Video from High Rock

BLM “Gather Update” page: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/surprise/whb/highrockgather.html

reposts from blog entries latest first
Update: High Rock Release

10ThursdayNov 2011

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UPDATE on the Update:

Horses will receive the freezemark AND an HMA mark… more tomorrow. Maybe they will try to release a few partial bands? Are we really asking too much? No way. It is the very least that can be done as AML is so dangerously low AND we are not following up these drastic reductions with any behavioral data.


Horses will be released at High Rock, not dependent on Calico numbers and prior to the end of Calico.

I have been told horses will be going to their “HMA’s” and the assumption is that the horses will be released in the areas they were taken from (not like we have seen at other operations). But I will follow-up on this.

I have not been notified if horses will receive a full brand and not just a PZP mark. I have not gotten any confirmation on making an attempt to release studs with their mares.

Working on getting more info.

Operations will continue for about two more days and “off” HMA horses are now being taken.

Please keep in mind that prior survey noted 1300 animals, we are now above that count. Horses are now moving because of the roundup operation and disruptions in the North due to construction…. more on that later.


PLEASE keep asking for those brands and that an attempt be made to return at least partial bands to home ranges.

high rock complex roundup

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A Request from the field, help needed: High Rock

10ThursdayNov 2011

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Press Release on legal cases and video tomorrow… boots off for a few hours.


Sat with the horses at PVC for a few minutes this afternoon… Triple B horses moving out to Fallon, long-term and adoption “events as the facility prepares to take in Calico horses.

There is a “rumor” at the moment that BLM in Cedarville may have changed plans about releasing horses at High Rock. If they do release at High Rock I promise to be there and document the individuals.

My thoughts, however, go a bit further and I could use your help.

I know BLM is reading this blog so they are going to know I have asked for your help as well as what I am asking for… as they will also get my request in writing.

AS my “gut” hurt so bad as they announced they would do no release from High Rock until after Calico (based on quota reached) I really feel that we need a greater ability to keep tabs on the wild horses. The “clean sweep” planning that has BLM wiping one side of the state last winter and now this side… has me extremely fearful of the genetic bankruptcy as well as the survival probability as these disruptions occur when horses need family the most, the winter.

If they were holding horses and releasing after Calico (but not based on quota captured at Calico) that would be in line with the manner in which the public must address these events as uniques. But to base it on the quota sees them as conjoined events. They can’t have it both ways as it suits an agenda.

But I am very worried about the population that will be left out there… extremely worried.

I am asking that you write to BLM here: http://www.blm.gov/ca/forms/feedback/index.php?fo=15 and FAX :  530-279-2171 attention Allen Bollschweiler

Sample request letter:

Mr. Bollschweiller,

I am writing in reference to the current BLM roundup operation in the High Rock Complex.

As the Environmental Assessment calls for the release of animals to reach low AML at the conclusion of operation I request the following:

1. Horses be branded prior to release.

This will serve several purposes.

It will make horses from this operation visually identifiable. This will ensure that as horses are released in an area bordering the next roundup operation, that they are not recaptured in the next operation. These horses have been disrupted and after release may flee the immediate area causing them to move into the next area of operation. It will also facilitate, by visual identification, observations of movement within the complex and adjoining areas. This information is vital in comprehending the best way to manage these animals and has been lacking in the past.

2. That an effort be made to reunite family bands for release.

Many of the groups are identifiable through photographs taken during the operation. By making the attempt to keep family groups together, and branding prior to release, further information can be gained about the efficiency of, and impact to, family structure from the proposed use of chemical birth control.

Thank you for your consideration,

you have to add your contact info ….


It takes a bit to digest what you see and get it into context… and then make the next move… video tomorrow as several things took priority today.

high rock holding, youngsters removed from families and the range in the same day
Note: This is not a request to change any policy, nor is it a request to perform a task that has not been accomplished in other areas that have differing consideration such as the Kiger HMA’s.
This is an opportunity to gain the required information toward actual management. As the numbers have been pushed so low, we now have a situation that requires “insurance” steps be taken to protect the population that has been left.

High Rock horses (Litchfield holding facility)

03ThursdayNov 2011


This is just a quick update on the Litchfield facility:

Horses from High Rock are being taken to this facility. Ability to assess horses is extremely limited at this facility. Most horses are in corrals that are not easily visible. This trip I was able to see primarily studs only.

I will return when youngsters are moved for vaccination.

Processing is not visible and access to view was denied.

Overview Litchfield, 11-2
Gorgeous bay stud (Fox Hog pen)
Stunning young studs (buddies, very attached to each other)

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High Rock Roundup continues

31MondayOct 2011


High Rock, 10-30

Yesterday, Oct. 30, the Bureau of Land Management’s contractor Sun J was unsuccessful in removing the last few horses left in the Woodruff trap site area.

The horses were driven to that location after being moved by helicopter for at least 2 hours.

Because the agency is incredibly reluctant to place gps tracking devices and/or cameras in the contracted helicopters the exact distance the animals travel remains unknown.

At the time of (our) arrival the trap was noted to have several areas where issues (accidents) were possible to occur dependent on the direction horses were driven from. This included noted observation of a fence line that contained barbed wire that was potentially in the path of travel. This despite the fact that this roundup, as well as previous ones, have had fatalities associated with the presence of barbed wire.

It was observed that one of the possibilities noted at arrival did occur and is demonstrated at this video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlXzyA1_fUo

Also of noted concern at the trap was evidence that the pilot had brought in members of unrelated bands indicating that fracturing of family groups continues. Of the six that made the vicinity of the trap 4 grouped together and as the other 2 attempted to join them for safety a stallion gave warning for them to keep their distance. Also of note is that the group consisting of a  mature stallion with three mares had no youngsters. Again because of the agencies reluctance to outfit the contract helicopters with cameras only speculation can occur (it raises serious questions as to what happens to animals when they are out of sight and why the agency is so adamant in their refusal).

However it is noted that apparently the COR operating that particular day at the Woodruff site did call off the pilot from continuing his pursuit.

Observation of operations continued at the temporary holding facility located on Highway 34 in the Complex.

Horses that had been captured in previous days were present. As no new animals were removed handling during processing could not be observed.

The animals removed from this roundup are primarily of good flesh for this time of year. The only horses observed that are below a 5 on the Heinekke scale are those that appear to have dropped colts in the spring and are of more advanced age. (One exception observed was a young mare that may have an underlying illness or anomaly).

Observations noted wounds of various degrees on feet and legs.

Trap site was moved to Texas Creek area (area was included in the public tour pre-roundup).

Horses were observed in the operation site area. Forage and water was noted to support population present. No underweight or distressed animals were observed. Of population noted 12% were estimated at one year of age or younger, (Includes observation of two apparent bachelor bands).

Observation of the trap noted that a small canyon would be used to hide the entrance to the panels. This area was strewn with sharp rock and large sage.

Assessment of the area indicated that the terrain was likely to increase injury to feet and legs. This information was noted in a fast post on the blog last night.

In BLM’s report today they note “no injuries.” Please keep in mind that none of the photos documenting injuries from puncture wounds to faces, severe lacerations to legs or bloody feet have never been listed in BLM’s update. BLM only notes injuries that lead to fatality in both facility and roundup reports.

Of particular note: BLM has stated that there will be no more animals released into any of the HMA’s of the High Rock Complex until the Calico Complex roundup has been completed. If numbers are not reached at Calico, no more animals will be released into High Rock. The reasoning is that the HMA’s share a boundary line.

So even though the public must continue to comment and address the AML’s of each of these areas through differing processes of public comment, the BLM now considers the populations fluid. This is an increasing trend and dilutes the public’s ability to address the system (utilizing their rights guaranteed under law) toward effective advocacy for this primary user (wild herds) as defined by the Federal Land Use Policy Management Act (FLPMA).

As I was informed that another observer would be present 10-31, I did not attend todays operation. The time was utilized condensing reports into a cohesive format for the NAS and actually taking a shower (the dog told me I stink).

Back into the field…

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High Rock, fast message (Leigh)

31MondayOct 2011

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Have not slept in nearly 48 hours. I will get video up tomorrow…

but today they tried to get the last six horses from a trap site and all escaped and were too hard to get into the poorly set trap. Horses 6, BLM 0

But the trap set for tomorrow uses a canyon as wings… and the floor is laden with sharp large rock sticking up like teeth… Going to be a “bloody leg” day.

But here is an image of Freedom fought for, and won.

High Rock, 10-30 (Leigh)

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